Two Finnish political parties from opposite ends of the spectrum have had weekend votes to decide who should be the leader of their parties.
And both decided to keep the same politicians at the helm for another term.
When Essayah announced her breast cancer diagnosis earlier in August, the former 10,000 metre World Champion speed walker had indicated she might stand down as party leader but received messages of encouragement from other party members.
In a speech to party members, Essayah called for a boost in Finland’s hydroelectric green energy production; called on the government to encourage more people to have children; and criticised continued “serious shortcomings” in care for elderly people due to a lack of nursing staff.
Essayah also used her speech to say that the state of freedom of expression in Finland is “worrying”.
Citing United Nations conventions on human rights, and said “it seems that our representative democracy and culture of social dialogue are in crisis”.
Feminist Party keeps the same leader
Although the party failed to get into parliament at the April general election, despite an alliance with three other small parties, Aro told party members that they had been instrumental in a government elected with several feminist ministers.
She said that many other mainstream policies like anti-discrimination, changes in sexual violence laws, Finland’s lead in promoting global human rights and asylum reform will happen because the Feminist Party has pushed those issues.
“We have achieved a great deal in a shoret time, and it has also demanded a great deal. Now is the time to deepen, develop and share your work together” Helsinki City Counselor Aro told delegates.